Orangutan parents look after their children for around nine years, longer than any other primate except humans. In this Sir David Attenborough-narrated clip from episode ten of the ten-part BBC series Life, a 42-year-old orangutan mother teaches her 6-year-old daughter how to forage high in the rainforest canopy of Sumatra in Indonesia.
“It will take years of learning for the youngster to gain enough knowledge of her treetop home before she, too, can pass on the knowledge to her children one day.”
Their daily activities include understanding which insects to eat, which ones have nests that are safe to raid, and how to tell when fruits are ripe. It’s also essential for orangutan children to learn which tree branches will hold their weight, and how to build overnight treetop nests or leaf umbrellas for a bit of shelter in their ecosystem’s daily inclimate weather.
File under parenting and primates. Watch these videos next:
• Orangutan Smile: A mother orangutan cuddles her baby
• Calaya gives birth to baby gorilla Moke at The National Zoo
• A mother raccoon teaches her kit how to climb a tree
• A baby river otter gets a swimming lesson from its mother
Plus: Climbing into the treetops with a chimpanzee cam.
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